Phil Hughes pitched seven strong innings and barely broke a sweat, as he helped the Twins down the Tigers 2-0 in the first of a three-game set. Hughes gave up eight hits and struck out three, and then passed the baton on to Casey Fien, ex-Tiger reliever, and closer Glen Perkins for the save.
The Tigers got to Perkins a little in the ninth, breaking the shutout and placing the tying run in scoring position with one out. Pinch hitter J.D. Martinez and Rajai Davis could not cash in pinch runner Danny Worth, who came on for Alex Avila after Avila’s RBI double. The Tigers lost 2-1 and their record fell to 20-11; they’ve now lost two in a row after an eight game winning streak.
There really wasn’t much to report from this game. Verlander and Hughes dueled one another through the sixth, matching each other zero for zero, before the Twins broke through against Verlander. The Twins loaded the bases with two out, and then Kurt Suzuki singled home two runs and gave the Twins a 2-0 lead. The Tigers, as mentioned above, did threaten in the ninth but were ultimately unable to score the tying run. Verlanded ended up going seven, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks, to go along with five strikeouts.
Max Scherzer (4-1, 1.72 ERA) will take the mound on Jim Leyland Day tomorrow, while rookie Kyle Gibson (3-2, 3.50 ERA) will toe the hill for the Twins.